From snow flurries to stormy weather, flakes galore await those heading to New England for the winter season. Vermont is the ultimate winter destination with “a world away” feel, located just a few hours from Boston. Whether you’re skiing the slopes or strolling one of the state’s 100 covered bridges with a cup of hot cocoa, there are lots of great winter activities in Vermont to keep you occupied.
If you’re eager to get this snowy season started, there are plenty of ways to get into the thick of the winter fun. Word to the wise””Vermont is a serious skiing state with 19 alpine ski resorts, 30 cross-country touring centres, 6,090 acres of alpine terrain, 1,209 trails and 1,180 miles of Nordic trails. Here all abilities are catered for, from advanced downhillers to training toddlers to those seeking a quiet cross-country jaunt. Look into winter sports at resorts like Killington, Okemo, Mad River Glen, Bromley Mountain Ski Resort and Sugarbush.
Trade mogul skiing in for mush with an exhilarating ride through snowy fields from outfits like Braeburn Siberians Dog Sledding and Eden Dogsledding. For a thrill, Vermont also has a remarkable snowmobile trail system, totalling 5000 miles of wintertime wonders, as well as fantastic sledging, outdoor community ice rinks and horse drawn carriages.
The Green Mountains, one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, dominate Vermont’s horizon. The miles of old logging roads, forest paths, and frozen lakes and bogs can only be reached by a trek on snowshoes. Cross country ski centres, alpine ski resorts, sport shops and inns all over Vermont rent snowshoes for such lofty adventures. Go it alone or take a guided walk along the Long Trail, America’s first long-distance hiking trail, with the Green Mountain Club.
When the chilly winds become too much, there are still plenty of fun winter activities in Vermont to try out. Relive the summer by donning your swimsuit to surf, climb or float the Big River at The Pumphouse Waterpark at the Jay Peak Resort.
For kids (and the young at heart), check out The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, which has over 60 interactive exhibits. Or take a day trip to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury where you can investigate upcoming snowstorms through its weather series. The little ones will also love a tour of the famous Vermont Teddy Bear Factory Tour in Shelburne and, right across the street, the Shelburne Museum delights art lovers with over 150,000 works including Monet, Manet and Degas.
As the nation’s leading producer of maple syrup, visiting Vermont in late winter means the sap is running and the sweet smell of maple fills the air. Dozens of sugarhouses are open for tastings, tours and a whole host of events throughout the season.
With over 45 farms producing over 150 varieties of artisan and farmstead cheese, it’s no wonder this dairy delight is on every foodie’s must-try list when holidaying in Vermont. Travel the state in search of the perfect cheddar on the Cheese Trail, an adventure in farm and cheese production through facility tours. For a sweeter treat, a 30-minute tour around one of Vermont’s most famous dairy farms, Ben & Jerry’s, ends with a giant bowl of Chunky Monkey ice cream.
Vermont is the perfect winter getaway “” whether you’re looking for serene scenery or exciting adventures on the slopes. Do everything or do nothing, because as it turns out, being flaky this winter isn’t all that bad.
Header image © Dennis Curran
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Have you tried any of these winter activities in Vermont? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
Written by Cheryl Fenton